Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Week 47 - Abner Elel

Hey Guys!

So, if you guys have followed my e-mails, you know that I've been working with an investigator named Abner Elel. He's a very special investigator for me, because his girlfriend served a mission with my sister in Honduras. Not only that, but he's very receptive. I've been able to watch him grow little by little as he learns about the gospel and makes an effort to put it in practice in his life. 

On Saturday, we got to the church at 1:30 to clean up the chapel in time for the baptism at 4. We mopped the halls, filled up the baptismal font, killed the mosquitoes and made sure everything was ready. We finished at 3, but at about 3:10, our mission leader told us that the baptism was actually gonna start at 5 because of delays, so we went to work.

Well, there weren't any delays. :/

Everyone got there at about 3:45, and NO ONE had the keys except us. So our bishop called us at 4:15, and we came running.

We got there a little flustered, and I got to meet Hermana Alvarez, Jodi's old companion. She wasn't too impressed that we had gotten there late, but she was very happy during the baptism.

After that, we had the confirmation, which was an even more spiritual event. I've never felt happier at seeing someone receive the confirmation ordinance. He's a very faithful person. I hope to see him after this life, still faithful to his covenants.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Guatemala for almost a full year.  Yep. The world's changed. I've changed. But I still have a long way to go. I know that after a year is finished, everything goes by a lot faster, and I like my life here, so I don't really want to go home.

Let love abound in your hearts this week. Not love as the world sees it, but the love of Christ. I promise you guys that everything will look better.


Elder Jeffrey Reed

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 46 - Well, This Week They Threw Tomatoes At Me, jajaja

Hey Guys!

This week's been an interesting one.

To start off, I haven't written very much about my new companion. His name is Elder Villar, and he is from Peru. It's a very odd companionship, because the guy didn't do ANYTHING before the mission. He played internet videogames 10 hours a day (I'm not exactly sure how a person can sit in front of a computer for 10 fricking hours, but he did), and he's VERY sarcastic, so sometimes it's difficult, but we're learning to get along better.

This week, we had divisions, and I went with Elder Edwards. When we went to San Antonio, the more dangerous part of the area where I was almost mugged, we were going to a cita and some delinquents passed us. I heard something go by my head, and then the kids started running away from us. We found out why: They had thrown a bunch of tomatoes at us. Luckily, not one of them exploded.

Other than that, it wasn't too eventful. The work was a little bit more difficult this week, But Elel is getting baptized next week! I'll have a few photos and things to share that day. And a spiritual thought: I love the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland: "You can have what you want, or you can have something better." And I think about how true that is. In this life, there are many things that distract us, or that appear attractive. Many of these things, in reality, can keep us away from what matters most, but many times, if we are willing to wait, to be patient, and to follow the commandments, there is something better waiting for us.

I love you guys! Thank you for all the support! Keep writing!


Elder Jeffrey Reed

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Week 45 - Almost Mugged + Pic

Hey Guys!

This week was an interesting week.

On my way to find a reference, in divisions, we entered MS territory (MS is a local gang here, Mara Salvatrucha) and we found the house. Across the street there was a group of about 10 guys, and one of them wearing a purple shirt was staring me down. In that situation, it's best to not look at them, not say anything, and keep doing whatever you're doing, (I was on divisions with a member when this happened) The member who I was with, Bryan, started at them a moment, then said, "Buenas tardes". At that moment, I knew we were gonna have trouble. The guy in the purple shirt said, "Hey. Those guys aren't gonna accept you. Why don't you guys run along?"

So I told him, "I got a appointment here, man."

Then they all surrounded us, and at that point, we decided it was better to leave than put ourselves at risk, so we left.

Other than that, we've been doing pretty well here. My companion is still adjusting to the mission rules, but we're working together to help him get along. Before the mission, he spent a LOT of time playing video games, and didn’t really interact with people, so his social skills are also something to work on, but he'll get better.

It's been a really refreshing week for me. during many lessons, i was able to feel the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of the message I share to the people, and this always makes me feel better. In this life, there are MANY MANY doubts and problems, but the counsel of our leaders in the Church right now is, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." That is one of the smartest and most useful pieces of advice that I have ever received. Even though it seems cliche, the word of God has the power to heal ever hurt in your life. All things that are unjust or wrong with the world can be made right because of our Lord and Savior. SO turn to the word of God when you have doubts. Ask God with a sincere heart. Let him know how you feel. He can heal you, and he will drive all the darkness and pain from your mind.

Elder Jeffrey Reed

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 44 - Wintertime in Guatemala - Training Again

Hey Guys!

Well, since I've started training again, I've seen how much I've grown as a missionary. It's somewhat startling to see how much more I've learned in the short space of 10 months. And the work here is good. In California, it's summertime, but right now in Guatemala, we're coming up to winter. In winter here, it rains. VERY VERY HARD. And I lost my umbrella, so I'm looking forward to many rainy days. But I love it all! That's one of the best parts of being a missionary- you get to have a lot of experiences that literally no one else would ever have, such as contacting people in the rain.

Rainy season is interesting here. When it's raining, everyone goes to their houses and stays inside. The only problem with this is that when 2 soaking wet elders come to the door, asking if they can share a message of Jesus Christ and offer a prayer to bless their homes, they, for whatever reason, don't want to let us in. I don't know why either! If I saw two soaking wet elders at my door, asking to bless my home with a message of Jesus Christ, even if I was Atheist I would at least feel bad for them and let them in. But that kind of sympathy doesn't seem to exist here.
Right now, I am training Elder Villar, a Peruano. He's having a bit of difficulty adapting to the mission life and struggles a little bit with the rules, but we're learning together. I don't think we'll have too many difficulties, but the only thing that gets to me is his sarcasm.
Other than that, I've been thinking about obedience and how we can apply it in our lives. I love what we learn from the stripling warriors in Alma 57, in the Book of Mormon, in verses 21-27. Obedience, exact obedience is really what helps us to become better. Every single one of us has a particular habit or something that impedes us from growing. I invite every single one of you to grow, to change, and to better your lives! (and for everyone who has a Book of Mormon close by, read those verses)

Elder Jeffrey Reed

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week 43 - Why are you wearing Crocs?

Hey Guys!

So the topic of this e-mail is "Why are you walking around with a flip-flop on?" Part of one of the many adventures of being a missionary is ingrown toenails. Last P-Day, after writing you guys, we went to go play football (Soccer for all you American people) and after playing football, my toe really started hurting. So we took it to the doctor this Friday, and I had the toenail partially taken out. SO for the past few days I've been walking around with a caite, or a Croc on my right foot, and when I went to church this Sunday, all the little kids who were there asked me: "¿y su zapato?" or "¿Porque anda con caite?" I thought it was pretty funny. 

Also, I had my SECOND emergency change this change. Elder Roque, my companion, broke his knee for the second time in his mission, and went home to Honduras. The thing is that he had already broken it once. He went home for surgery, and after 7 months, he came back. BUT he re-broke it standing up after kneeling to offer a prayer.  So right now, I'm in trio with Elder Borjas and Elder Edwards, my district leader and his junior companion. 

This is the week of changes, and I'm going to train again! I love training, because new elders are enthusiastic (if they're not thinking about home) and they have NO idea what to expect when they start their mission. SO I get to be the first missionary another elder sees. I'm gonna try to train him well.  It’s a little hard to send two elders home in 1 change, but I had 2 baptisms this month!

Funny story- Jodi served with Hermana Alvarez, a Guatemalteca from Chimaltenango. This is VERY far from my area, but Hna Alvarez' boyfriend, Abner Elel, is a cadet studying to be a police officer at the local police academy. Every Sunday night, we bless the Sacrament there for the members and teach the investigators who come to the meetings. Abner is one of those investigators. When I first got to know him, I was pretty impressed. He loves extreme sports and is very, very smart. When I invited him to be baptized, he told me, "Of course!" Then, after teaching him yesterday, he asked me: "Hey, do you have a cousin or a sister named Hermana Reed?" 

"Yeah..." I told him. He got really excited a moment.

"Where did she serve?"

"Comayaguela, Honduras."

"Hombre, I think your sister and my girlfriend were companions on the mission."

You never know who you will find and who you will affect.  Even the smallest things make the biggest difference in the lives of people.
Elder Jeffrey Reed